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Don’t wish Eagles bad because of Keshi — coach Fanny Amun

Former Golden Eaglets coach Fanny Amun has come out from the trenches to hit back at those trying to cause trouble in the house of Nigerian football. A former scribe of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amun, who hails from Edo State remains an unrepentant apostle of the Federal Ministry of Sports. As Nigeria battle Congo today in Point Noire, Amun tells JOHN EGBOKHAN that Nigerians should not wish Eagles bad because of their disposition towards out-of-favour coach Stephen Keshi.

amunSo much has happened to our football since the exit of Aminu Maigari as President of the Nigeria Football Federation. Is the change of guard good for our football development.

I want to put in on record that despite all the political troubles we had during his time in office that Maigari remains the most successful NFF leader that we have had. His record are there to see that under such an hostile environment he was still able to win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013, as well as the Golden Eaglets triumph at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2013 as well as numerous other international and continental tournaments.

Maigari was a product of the crisis that took out Sani Lulu, who was also a product of crisis that swallowed Ibrahim Galadima, whose fall was orchestrated by some persons in the Sports Ministry.

s change in the leadership of the NFF as being allegedly masterminded by the Sports Ministry doing our football any good?

In the past, government’s interference was deemed not good for our nation’s football development, by those against government. It is curious to however note people are always quick to point at government’s interference when things don’t go their way, while those who benefit from the system say that it is not government’s interference. So the answer is always going to tilt to the divide to which you belong. The government is a stakeholder in football, so they have a right to jump into the fray.

At the last Elective Congress of the NFF in Warri on September 30, a credible Executive Committee was elected by the delegates and government has endorsed the board as being credible enough to take our football to the next level. This board led by Amaju Pinnick has come to stay. Age and wisdom are on the side of this board. In Pinnick, we have a king, who is young and has a longer lifespan to do well . Nobody can rubbish the tremendous works he has done in Delta State and what he will do in his new capacity in NFF.

Pinnick understudied great minds of Nigerian sports, like the late Patrick Okpomo and Solomon Ogba. He has the wealth of experience to transform our football and I see our football rising again to international prominence under this dispensation.

What is your disposition towards the Appeals Committee sitting on the NFF Elections?

It will be suicidal if anyone, knowingly or unknowingly will try to run back the hand of the clock. In any elections, people will always be angry. They will always cry wolf, blue murder but the thing is that there must be winners and losers in any election process.

It is instructive to note that the Appeals Committee is not bigger than the Executive Committee and that the only organ that can nullify the election in the Congress.

So let reason prevail and let us allow sleeping dogs to live in peace.

Today in Point Noire, Nigeria face the prospects of kissing bye to next year’s Nations Cup. The blame for this ugly scenario is being heaped on Coach Stephen Keshi, who somehow is still in charge of the team, despite massive outcry for his dismissal. Will Keshi not further jeopardize how AFCON chances?

All hell would not break out if we don’t qualify. Keshi is a human being, who has been successful during his time as Eagles coach. People should not wish the team bad because of Keshi. When you go into a match, you either lose, draw or win. Someone is supposed to win today’s match in Congo and my wish is for the Super Eagles to win.

How about the poor results that we have suffered in the last matches, which have made our chances bleak?

Keshi is in charge and part of his duties is to invite players who he feels can do well for Nigeria.

But that has been the issue all through this campaign

It is fair to say he should invite players who are doing well for now. But he will be judged by the results.

And the results have not been exactly favourable for us as we have wobbled and fumbled this far?

I don’t know what you are talking about because the process is not yet over.

As a grassroots coach, are you comfortable with Samson Siasia’s choice to coach the Olympic Eagles team?

He has always been in charge of our youth teams and it is only appropriate that he is in charge. The challenge for him is to produce stars who will form the bulk of the Super Eagles team to the 2018 World Cup in Russis. And he should also win the gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

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